The Girl Who Had Everything


1h 9m 1953
The Girl Who Had Everything

Brief Synopsis

A criminal lawyer's daughter falls for one of his clients.

Film Details

Also Known As
A Life of Her Own
Genre
Drama
Crime
Adaptation
Release Date
Mar 27, 1953
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel A Free Soul by Adela Rogers St. Johns (New York, 1927).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 9m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,255ft (8 reels)

Synopsis

During a broadcast of the evening television news, commentator Elmer Peterson announces that the Senate will investigate Victor Y. Ramondi, head of a large gambling syndicate, then cuts to a live interview with Ramondi and his attorney, John Ashmond. Pretty, free-spirited Jean Latimer, who is watching the interview with her father Steve in their Lexington, Kentucky home, is impressed by the suave Ramondi's good looks. Later that evening, while Jean is out on a date with her boyfriend, Vance Court, Ashmond, who is Steve's law partner, pays a visit and persuades him to represent Ramondi during the investigation. Vance proposes to Jean, as he has many times before, but she tells him she is not ready to settle down. After six days of testimony, the Senate investigation ends without a conviction. Jean goes to Washington to attend the final hearing, and joins her father and Ramondi for a drink afterward. While Steve is away from the table, Jean and Ramondi flirt, and she admits that her father's drinking worries her. Back in Kentucky, Jean is at a horse auction with Steve and Vance when Ramondi shows up and extravagantly outbids Vance for a colt. He reveals that he has taken a lease on a lavish plantation in the area sight unseen, and while Jean gives him a tour of the place, he kisses her. Vance is waiting outside when Jean gets home, having just put the drunken Steve to bed, and she openly tells him she is interested in getting to know Ramondi better. Jean and Ramondi begin dating, and one evening, after dancing at the country club, they return to his house and kiss passionately. The next day, Jean joins Steve and Vance at the racetrack and tells them Ramondi gave her the $20,000 colt he bought at the auction. Vance warns Jean to end her relationship with Ramondi and walks away. When her father expresses his disapproval, Jean insists that Ramondi loves her, but Steve replies that a man who does not respect himself does not care about anyone else. At her father's insistence, Jean returns the colt, and tells Ramondi she now knows about his shady past. Ramondi vows that he will change, and requests a meeting with Steve. Late that night, Steve shows up unexpectedly at Ramondi's house and insults him when he speaks of marrying Jean, then is shocked to see his daughter come downstairs from the bedroom. Jean reluctantly goes home with Steve, and after an ugly quarrel, agrees to join him for a vacation in the Big Smokies. After four days, however, Jean grows restless and returns to Ramondi, and the couple drives to New York to be married. In New York, Ramondi tells his close associate Charles "Chico" Menlow, that he plans to retire and settle down in Lexington, despite Chico's warning that quitting will bring trouble. Later, Chico calls Ramondi to a meeting with the syndicate and shows him a newspaper headline announcing that the Senate might reopen the investigation, as a "mystery witness" is expected to provide new evidence. Chico says the witness is Steve, but Ramondi dismisses this as a bluff. After Ramondi leaves, his associates agree that he is a liability to their organization, and Chico muses on how his old friend's "accidental" demise would solve a lot of problems. Steve is waiting at the hotel when Ramondi returns, and says that although he cannot testify against a former client, he can produce witnesses who will attest to Ramondi's past crimes, adding that a warrant is being issued for the murder of two mobsters. In a rage, Ramondi strikes Steve and threatens his life. Jean angrily tells Ramondi they are through, despite his attempts to intimidate her into staying with him. Ramondi gets in his car and drives away, but while stopped at a light, he is shot to death. The next day, at a press conference, Jean comes forward and says she broke the engagement when she learned her father was right about Ramondi. Jean asks Steve to take her home, and they embrace.

Film Details

Also Known As
A Life of Her Own
Genre
Drama
Crime
Adaptation
Release Date
Mar 27, 1953
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel A Free Soul by Adela Rogers St. Johns (New York, 1927).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 9m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,255ft (8 reels)

Articles

The Girl Who Had Everything


When MGM's 1953 remake of the classic A Free Soul hit the screen as The Girl Who Had Everything, the title was ironic in more ways than one. Shortly before shooting started on the film, Taylor wed second husband Michael Wilding. Not only was she blissfully in love with the British actor, but she was thrilled to discover herself pregnant with her first child. MGM had to juggle the film's production schedule to get her more physical scenes completed before she started to show. That certainly didn't take any of the sizzle out of her love scenes with Latin heartthrob Fernando Lamas. The story of a willful heiress involved with a gangster represented by her lawyer father (William Powell) helped Taylor build a new image as a screen sexpot after years of juvenile roles. The story had worked much the same magic for Norma Shearer, who played the lawyer's daughter opposite gangster Clark Gable and lawyer Lionel Barrymore in the 1932 version.

On the down side, however, the girl who seemed to have everything was almost broke. She and Wilding barely had any money left after paying off their agents, lawyers, secretaries, and accountants. And once the film was completed, Taylor had to accept a reduced salary while on maternity leave. They only survived financially because Taylor turned 21, which allowed her to cash in the trust fund her parents had established with her childhood earnings.

Their financial problems wouldn't last for long, however. With television making inroads on Hollywood's profits, MGM was desperate to keep their top female star. For her part, Taylor loved the comforts of the studio system. So when MGM offered her a new contract at $5,000 a week, she signed on the dotted line.

But while The Girl Who Had Everything marked a new stage in Taylor's meteoric career, it was the end of the line for another great MGM star. William Powell had joined the studio in 1934, scoring a hit with his first film there, Manhattan Melodrama, which had also marked his first teaming with his favorite co-star, Myrna Loy. The two shot to superstardom the same year with their second team-up, The Thin Man. By the early Ô50s, however, studio executives weren't exactly going out of their way to find material for him. In fact, his role as the alcoholic lawyer in The Girl Who Had Everything, which had brought Lionel Barrymore an Oscar¨ for Best Actor in 1932, was reduced to supporting status in the remake. The Girl Who Had Everything would be Powell's last MGM film. After supporting roles in How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) and Mister Roberts (1955), he retired, living out of the limelight until his death in 1984.

Director: Richard Thorpe
Producer: Armand Deutsch
Screenplay: Art Cohn, Willard Mack (play), based on the novel A Free Soul' by Adele Rogers St. Johns
Cinematography: Paul Vogel
Editor: Ben Lewis
Art Direction: Randall Duell, Cedric Gibbons
Music: Andre Previn
Cast: William Powell (Steve Latimer), Elizabeth Taylor (Jean Latimer), Fernando Lamas (Victor Y. Raimondi), Gig Young (Vance Court), James Whitmore (Charles ÔChico' Menlow)
BW-70m.


by Frank Miller
The Girl Who Had Everything

The Girl Who Had Everything

When MGM's 1953 remake of the classic A Free Soul hit the screen as The Girl Who Had Everything, the title was ironic in more ways than one. Shortly before shooting started on the film, Taylor wed second husband Michael Wilding. Not only was she blissfully in love with the British actor, but she was thrilled to discover herself pregnant with her first child. MGM had to juggle the film's production schedule to get her more physical scenes completed before she started to show. That certainly didn't take any of the sizzle out of her love scenes with Latin heartthrob Fernando Lamas. The story of a willful heiress involved with a gangster represented by her lawyer father (William Powell) helped Taylor build a new image as a screen sexpot after years of juvenile roles. The story had worked much the same magic for Norma Shearer, who played the lawyer's daughter opposite gangster Clark Gable and lawyer Lionel Barrymore in the 1932 version. On the down side, however, the girl who seemed to have everything was almost broke. She and Wilding barely had any money left after paying off their agents, lawyers, secretaries, and accountants. And once the film was completed, Taylor had to accept a reduced salary while on maternity leave. They only survived financially because Taylor turned 21, which allowed her to cash in the trust fund her parents had established with her childhood earnings. Their financial problems wouldn't last for long, however. With television making inroads on Hollywood's profits, MGM was desperate to keep their top female star. For her part, Taylor loved the comforts of the studio system. So when MGM offered her a new contract at $5,000 a week, she signed on the dotted line. But while The Girl Who Had Everything marked a new stage in Taylor's meteoric career, it was the end of the line for another great MGM star. William Powell had joined the studio in 1934, scoring a hit with his first film there, Manhattan Melodrama, which had also marked his first teaming with his favorite co-star, Myrna Loy. The two shot to superstardom the same year with their second team-up, The Thin Man. By the early Ô50s, however, studio executives weren't exactly going out of their way to find material for him. In fact, his role as the alcoholic lawyer in The Girl Who Had Everything, which had brought Lionel Barrymore an Oscar¨ for Best Actor in 1932, was reduced to supporting status in the remake. The Girl Who Had Everything would be Powell's last MGM film. After supporting roles in How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) and Mister Roberts (1955), he retired, living out of the limelight until his death in 1984. Director: Richard Thorpe Producer: Armand Deutsch Screenplay: Art Cohn, Willard Mack (play), based on the novel A Free Soul' by Adele Rogers St. Johns Cinematography: Paul Vogel Editor: Ben Lewis Art Direction: Randall Duell, Cedric Gibbons Music: Andre Previn Cast: William Powell (Steve Latimer), Elizabeth Taylor (Jean Latimer), Fernando Lamas (Victor Y. Raimondi), Gig Young (Vance Court), James Whitmore (Charles ÔChico' Menlow) BW-70m. by Frank Miller

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was A Life of Her Own. According to M-G-M publicity material, the novel on which this film was based first appeared serially in Hearst's International Cosmopolitan starting in September 1926. A Daily Variety news item dated August 2, 1951 reported that Ava Gardner had been cast in the starring role, and that Marguerite Roberts had written the script. The extent of Roberts' contribution to the final film has not been determined, however. A February 26, 1952 item in Hollywood Reporter's "Rambling Reporter" column stated that Howard Keel was campaigning for the role of the male lead in the film. Although Hollywood Reporter news items include June Whitley and Art Baker in the cast, Baker was not in the released film and the appearance of Whitley has not been confirmed. Elmer Peterson, who portrayed himself in the film, was a well-known television newscaster at the time.
       The novel A Free Soul was also the basis of the 1931 M-G-M film of the same title, which was directed by Clarence Brown and starred Norma Shearer, Lionel Barrymore, Clark Gable and Leslie Howard (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40). According to information in the file on The Girl Who Had Everything in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, M-G-M first expressed interest in remaking A Free Soul in 1945. However, the script submitted to the PCA in May 1946 was rejected because of the sexual relationship between "Jean" and "Ramondi" and the deliberate killing of "Ramondi" by "Vance" (as in the 1931 version). The PCA demanded numerous revisions and eliminations, and the project was shelved until February 1952, when a new draft was submitted and approved.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Spring March 27, 1953

Made once before as "A Free Soul" (USA/1931) starring Norma Shearer, Clark Gable, and Lionel Barrymore. Also Based on the same novel.

Released in United States Spring March 27, 1953